Community hub plans for Worthing Library hit delays

Problems with lifts and heating and cooling systems mean the Worthing Community Hub will not open as planned in the summer.

West Sussex County Council plans to transform the town’s library, in Richmond Road, into a one-stop centre which would also house children and family services and registration services.

But Duncan Crow, cabinet member for fire & rescue and communities, told a meeting of the full council on Tuesday (December 17) that the plans would be delayed until the autumn.

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Answering a question from Paul High (Con, Worthing West), Mr Crow said: “We have had surveyors in and they have found some difficulties with the lifts and with the cooling and the heating systems which are going to require further investigation.”

He told the meeting the planning application for refurbishment work had been submitted and work on the library’s temporary home, just across the road, was well under way.

Mr Crow insisted the community hub plan was still ‘full steam ahead’ and added: “Sometimes the best things are worth waiting for and this is going to be a really exciting project for Worthing, just like it has been for Burgess Hill.” 

He recently opened the new library in Burgess Hill and told the meeting some 300 new members had joined.

He categorically denied claims that there were plans to close some of the county’s libraries in an attempt to save money.

The council recently agreed to axe its mobile services and reduce the evening opening hours of four of its main libraries, saving £175,000.

Mr Crow said: “Having made that saving, that’s enabled us to ensure that we keep all of our remaining 36 libraries open.

“We haven’t closed any libraries over the last decade and I’m very proud that that’s the case.”